The Mets’ face of the franchise David Wright is absolutely tearing the cover off of the ball for Team USA at the World Baseball Classic (WBC) and New York surely likes what it sees.
Wright is hitting a ridiculous .438/.526/.750 with 1 HR and 10 RBI in 16 at-bats for the red, white and blue.
But are these numbers just cheap window dressing on a shiny and expensive car?
Wright hasn’t been facing the likes of division rival aces such as Roy Halladay, Stephen Strasburg, Tim Hudson or even Ricky Nolasco.
Instead, he’s been doing his damage against Xavier Cedeno – who has 47 games of MLB experience for Houston – Jameson Taillon – a promising young prospect in the Pirates organization, but still a ways away from the majors and Matt Torra – a career minor leaguer in the Rays organization. Not exactly the stiffest of competition.
However, Wright would probably be facing all kinds of sub par pitching in Spring Training if he was playing with the Mets, so maybe his numbers are something to be excited about.
Perhaps New York is going to get the Wright that they paid $138 million for right off of the bat or maybe he is just teasing the faithful with a hot start similar to last season?
Wright does look very comfortable at the plate offensively, he’s not chasing a lot of bad pitches and he doesn’t look like he’s trying to do too much. This however may be a concern when he comes back to the Mets.
It’s obvious he is the big bat in the line-up and he doesn’t have much protection aside from Ike Davis and Lucas Duda. This could cause Wright to try and do too much – now that he has that hefty contract to think about – and his offensive game could fall apart.
Wright’s strikeout rates skyrocketed in the second half last season from 13.2 K% to 20.7 K% which was a major concern. When his strikeout totals are low and he doesn’t chase at the plate, his offensive numbers and the Mets record improve, but when Wright struggles so do the Mets, so he needs to be on for the entire season if they have any hope of making the postseason.
His WBC performance may be meaningless to some, but to me this tournament is a good thing for Wright and the Mets. He looks relaxed at the plate and is beaming with confidence, which he may bring back to camp and into the 2013 season.
Whatever the case may be, Mets360 projected a very nice season of .298/.383/.490 with 24 HR and 97 RBI for the superstar third baseman and although his numbers against WBC pitching may indicate something otherwise, you’d still be incredibly happy with these numbers if you’re a Mets fan.
Wright is going to explode out of the gates in 2013 and put up the kind of numbers that deserve the big contract because his strikeout rate will not exceed the 20.7 K% it did in the second half of last season. With the way he is playing in the WBC, expect it to be closer to the 13.2 K% of 2012’s first half.
Also, Davis and Duda should provide Wright with enough protection so that he sees the pitches he needs to in order to produce at a high offensive level.
The Mets middle of the order will have a great year and it will be Wright who is the anchor of it all, just wait and see. As for the rest of the Mets line-up and their offensive output or possible lack thereof, that remains to be seen.